In today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger writes about the Obama Doctrine, which the President recently expressed during his interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. The President, when asked what his doctrine is stated simply, “We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.” Henninger is very critical of the doctrine, claiming that the doctrine is a hoax and that what the President is saying is that there is never any intention of taking action as it to pertains to high risk U.S. foreign policy. I think that this is overly critical.
In my opinion, it definitely correlates well with Theodore Roosevelt’s well-known mantra, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” I think that the Obama doctrine is more a doctrine that seeks to take a very conservative approach to exercising U.S. superpower, more specifically military dominance. I think the doctrine positions the U.S. as a very rational and measured force on the international playing field. Simply because the doctrine indicates a disposition not to act, does not mean that it does not serve its purpose and further that in the most dire situations, the U.S. would not act as necessary to rectify the situation. I personally take kindly to the Obama Doctrine and embrace it as a measured approach to international policy in a world in which the U.S. can be seen as a super-powered bully. Speak softly and carry a big stick, but have no intention of ever having to use it.